Bente Sommerfeldt-Colberg

Bente Sommerfeldt-Colberg

Several of Bente Sommerfeldt-Colberg’s works can be seen to be dealing with a threatened world, with exposure and vulnerability. She is concerned with showing a particular sequence of events, which almost reflect a human action, and she draws on elements and objects from a world of shared perception and experience. The electronic components and connections are off-the-shelf products, the motor and timers are programmed into a computer that controls the sculpture’s behaviour.

Sometimes the sculptures are a result of a 10-year-old idea that finally finds its form. She may wake up with a completely clear visual solution once the subconscious has done its work. “That’s the best thing about my job, and then come the difficult mechanical challenges afterwards!” She has at times resorted to getting help on the invented technical solutions, but she has completed most of the work on her latest pieces herself.

Sommerfeldt-Colberg is most concerned about the clinical, cold and scientific in her artistic expression, where there is clearly a process unfolding and she is the laboratory technician seeking answers. In Hygienisk instrument (Hygienic instrument), which literally moves within a laboratory aesthetic, glass rods rotate in an oversized Petri dish, over an enlarged photo of the palm of a hand. Clear, liquid soap thus forms new lines in the flowing mass; the work is washing its hands.

The viewer’s imagination is reminded of the sorcerer’s apprentice who witnessed how the bewitched broom took over everything. Another of Bente Sommerfeldt-Colberg’s sculptures has lived its own life; a table that began to move around on its own and chose to leave the room – by the stairs. The idea seems to thrill the artist – a lovely element of surprise!

Text: Grethe Hald
Translation: Glen Farley